Youth Ministry can be one of the most frustrating jobs. Just when you think your students are perfect angels and living sold out for the glory of God, someone pulls back the curtain to reveal the ugly truth. I had a curtain moment recently and I had conflicting feelings. Part of me was frustrated and wanting to drop some truth bombs on those students, but the other side of me just kept thinking “student make mistakes.”
The last thing I want is an attitude of “teens will be teens” where I ignore student development, but I also recognize that despite my best efforts, I cant change students. That is the role of the Holy Spirit. Teenagers are trying on identities, they are living life through the process of trial-and-error trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. This process comes with mistakes.
What’s important is not how we police our students, but how we model Jesus to our students. Our students, like Israel in the OT, will bounce back and forth between obedience and rebellion. May we model the loving grace of Jesus when our students mess up. May we be the people they call in the midst of their rebellion. May we wisely address their mishaps and point them toward a purpose and identity in Christ.